Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Leaders or Managers

What is the difference between leadership and management? This is the question our group of managers were mulling over last week. Everyone had their own take on it. My view on this is that the difference is essentially in the inputs available for decision-making. To me, a manager is a one who is in a position to work in an environment where one's work related information is easily and completely available and a leader is one who needs to work in an environment where that information is not available. This subtle difference creates a world of difference. A manager then merely becomes a person who performs transactional duties, whereas a leader needs to make choices where a whole lot of skills are required. Since, information for clear decision-making is not available, it makes a leader more dependent intuition, "gut-feeling" and risk taking abilities.

Most of us are leaders only at times and managers the rest of times. The focus should be to become more of leaders than managers in our individual areas of control.

There are instances in our work life when we have to make the choice of being leaders versus being managers. It basically depends on the choice we make. In fact, I believe that a leader is one who typically gets work done when he/she does **not** have the authority to do so.

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